Restaurant: Boulud Sud
Executive Chef: Travis Swikard
Location: Lincoln Center, Upper West Side
Several years ago my husband and I belonged to Culinary Insiders Club run by a very enthusiastic foodie who had the access to the best restaurants in the city. We went to restaurants before they were open to the public, attended private food and art events and met some of New York’s famous chefs.
One of such events took place at Boulud Sud during their soft opening. The restaurant wasn’t completely finished yet, there was cardboard covering parts of the floor and walls and chef Daniel Boulud himself climbed up on a step ladder to address the guests and to explain his vision that resulted in establishing Sud.
He told us that with the Sud he wanted to bring to New York the vibrant flavors and spices of the Mediterranean Rim – from the south of France to the shores of North Africa, certainly an area of fantastic culinary diversity. We were intrigued by his concept and impressed with the food we sampled.
I love the menu choices that range from spicy Turkish dishes like the harissa lamb to Spanish inspired octopus a la plancha, salt baked Branzino and classic southern French gambas. And then there are those delicious rare to find morsels like the melt-in-your-mouth jamon Iberico, so expertly sliced that one would think that you were somehow teleported to Marbella.
Now chef de cuisine Travis is carrying on Daniel’s vision with the same discipline, exectitude and creativity. Travis constantly and continuously develops and refines the menu to ensure perfect harmony between the selections from The Land, The Sea, The Garden. As a food blogger I get inspired every time I get to try one of his new dishes.
Daniel’s idea was great and quickly bore fruit, the restaurant is extremely popular and is often full even on Sunday and Monday nights. As an added bonus it’s also super convenient for us and we enjoy its atmosphere of understated elegance with quite intensity. Often we chose to sit at the bar – whether for dinner or just drinks – it’s the funnest place to be!
So much has been written about Boulud’s Grapefruit Givre dessert, certainly food bloggers have done their fare share of praise. No surprise it is my favorite sweet treat there. In a world of pastry, this dessert to me is like the invention of penicillin, it is a game changer for sure! Whimsical and playful, it is full of surprises, as you spoon deeper into its citrus shell, you get bites of home made semi-sweet grapefruit sorbet, mixed with rosewater loukoum, sesame crumble, light as air foam, all covered with crunchy sweet tule, topped with delicate strands of halva!
LOOK: Dress elegantly chic, put on your stylish shoes and enjoy the convivial joie-de-vivre style of this excellent restaurant.
Cudos once again to Daniel Boulud for bringing such exciting culinary delight with a vibrant flair of style to the Lincoln Center neighborhood.
Photographed by Gary Flom.